up and down (trigger rainbow baby)

i watch his chest go up and down
squinting, i stare harder and longer
until i’m convinced his chest has
stopped moving completely

devastated, my hands leap from my sides
and land on his soft onesie
where they gently rise and fall
assuredly, confidently
with the rhythm of his sweet breathing

and i exhale
a body full of air, terror, doubt, and dread

he’s okay, he’s okay, he’s okay 

then i inhale
and fix my eyes on his chest again
going up and down, up and down, and up and down

and i wait, wincing in anticipation,
for nature to show her cruel hand to me
once more.

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